In my years of experience as a CEO and in consulting with businesses, I have never once suggested micromanaging as a strategy to help a business succeed. In fact, when I see micromanaging in action, it is a sure sign that if change does not occur, the company is doomed to fail! In this blog, I want to tell you the top 4 ways micromanaging will kill your company – including the very top reason micromanaging will always lead to company death! But first, let’s start by defining what micromanaging actually is.
What is Micromanaging?
Micromanaging is a fear-based attempt to exert power and control over another. It results from a lack of identity – in not realizing that you are a loved child of God. It is based on the belief that you have to take care of yourself. You have to be in control of everything. When you live from this place, you are not free and are not able to trust God or others.
Micromanaging always comes from fear; whether it’s fear of being thought of as a fraud, fear of failure or fear someone will be promoted before you and get recognized instead of you.
As a consultant, I can quickly identify a micromanaged team because they actually look half-dead. I walk into a meeting room and see glazed eyes, closed eyes and people looking at the floor. It is chilling to see. No one is motivated. No one feels that they belong. No one has ownership over the success of the company. I walk in and I feel like I am at a funeral. In some ways, I am. The company is dying right in front of me.
So how did this happen? How does micromanaging kill a company?
There are many reasons, but here are the top 4 ways:
- The team’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit are quenched by control. The leader either won’t listen to new ideas or will steal the credit for others ideas. This takes away all motivation for people to continue to share. The leader loses respect from their team because creative ideas are shared, but not heard. With the removal of creativity, the team will usually start to use their creativity to compete against each other and to avoid consequences, instead of building and taking ownership.
- Micromanaging drives away deals, customers, and clients! Clients and customers run away – especially ones that are reputable, responsible, and wanting to partner long-term. How does that happen? It is about the culture we create in our company. Micromanagers are always operating out of fear, anger, and lack of trust. Their team culture is shaped by anxiety, fear, and punishment. This internal angst is also felt outside the company as well. People that are micromanaged start to micromanage others, and become inappropriately demanding – even of the client!
- Employee performance decreases dramatically, and quickly. This goes back to relationship; because the team is not able to contribute, they feel devalued and stop contributing. We value things we put value into. So, if employees do not feel able to contribute value then they soon stop valuing the company. This leads to a downward spiral where the manager increases micromanaging, and the employees decrease their value in the rules and procedures of the company. Employees will then lose their sense of belonging, identity and attachment to the company. They will lose the motivation to produce or perform well. They will work to provide the minimum required, slack off, and look for loopholes. Deep down inside, the employee realizes that if they bring their effort and passion to work, it will be met with criticism anyway.
And the NUMBER ONE reason micromanaging kills a company is because:
All the best talent will leave!
The best talent has a strong sense of personal identity and they know they have something great to offer. If you will not accept or trust their skills, insight, and ability then they will find someone who will. The most intelligent worker who is responsible, motivated and talented will leave! You will be left with a team that mirrors the lack of personal identity in the manager and blames the manager for anything that goes wrong. You will be left with the people that are irresponsible, unmotivated, untalented and not creative. In my experience, quality labor retention is directly related to micromanaging.
Are you ready for the good news? There is is an antidote to micromanaging!
You guessed it, it’s honor.
I am excited to tell you about this antidote, and steps you can take to apply it, in my next blog.
To learn more about healthy ways to manage your employees, check out my new book Business of Honor.
For more blogs by Bob Hasson, please go here.
3 responses to “How Micromanaging Will Kill Your Company”
Wow, Bob, that is exactly what I am experiencing in my department. I work in dual diagnosis residential, as an addictions counselor, and between the Psychologist, nurses, MSW and LCSWs, management (upper and over me), then other emplyees that have been there longer than me………..I can never add anything to the mix. So, I just shut my mouth, do my job and get through the day, dodging the power and control issues that others fight for. UGH. My plan is to transition to outpatient in the company, but now I am wondering if it is the whole company not just my department? What do you think?
Kathleen, I think you can be powerful in any department! I try to keep my love on in disconnected cultures and let my strength shine through, even if I am not the leader the Lord tells me I can “let my light shine before others.” If you can make a choice to show up, share your strength of compassion and lead the culture away from disconnection you will see slow incremental change over time. Also, generally a companies culture operates throughout all departments, so it’s possible this company’s culture isn’t a good fit for you. I hope this helps! God bless you, Bob
Couldn’t agree more – have experienced this firsthand both in leadership and as an employee
I Have more understanding now why there was so much turnover – and how to prevent it. Can’t wait for the next blog – thanks!